I Hit the Trails, & They Hit Back


Roughly, literally and figuratively, fifteen minutes into my hour-long trail run, I took one of the worst spills I have ever taken.  I hit the ground hard, but I immediately got up and ran even harder.  In fact, I had one of the best trail runs ever on a truly stunning Sunday afternoon.  As I finished my run, I began to think about how was it that I fell hard, yet still performed above and beyond my expectations.  The following are some of the thoughts and lessons that I took away from the trails, along with some bumps, bruises, and scratches:

  • When I fell, I didn’t over think it like I do when I stumble off of the trails.  I did a quick scan of my body and determined that I was not seriously injured, so, I kept going.  I was so excited about being out on the trails on a gorgeous day that I focused on enjoying it to the fullest and not letting one mishap spoil it at all.  Falling is a part of trail running sometimes, just like it is in life.
  • Quitting was never an option.  My right knee took the brunt of the fall, and I could have used that as an excuse to end my trail run almost as soon as it began.  I never thought of doing that, though, because I benefit physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually when I trail run, and I wanted to reap those benefits today.  Plus, there was the practical matter of getting back to my car!  I could have turned around and backtracked, but just like in life, I have discovered that it rarely is beneficial to go back.  So, I went forward, and by doing so, I met my goal of running for an hour.  It definitely felt better to reach my goal than it would have felt to quit.
  • Once I fell, I reminded myself to watch my footing, but I didn’t let the risk of falling fill me with fear or prevent me from having a great run.  Too often, I let anxiety and worry sabotage what I want to do in the present and what I am working toward in the future, when I just need to learn the lessons that stumbles and falls have to offer and keep moving ahead.
  • There are spots along the trails that are especially challenging, and in the past, I have faced those steep hills by digging deep and getting up those hills.  In the past year or so, since I have not been running regularly, I have been stopping and walking up the steep hills without even attempting to run like I used to, as I have told myself that since I am not back in top shape yet that I cannot do it.  Today, I ran half of the way up one of those steep hills before I realized that I was still running.  It was tough, but I did it.  It is amazing what I can accomplish when I take the limits off of myself and get out of my own way, and for the rest of the run, I ran up every hill and did not stop to walk.  I know that I can do the same off of the trails, if only I try to do the thing that I think that I cannot do.  My thoughts either make or break me, and it is time for them to work for me, not against me.
  • It may not have been the kindest and gentlest of trail runs, but sometimes, the best things can come from the worst mishaps.  That nasty fall led to more than just a terrific finish to my run, as it left me with some great insights and lessons.  Life’s stumbles and falls are no different, if only I focus on the lesson offered, learn from it, and keep moving in the right direction.

That’s another story . . .


Categories: That's Another Story

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9 replies

  1. Ouch, so happy you didn’t get any serious injuries! 🙂


  2. Sorry for you tumble. One of the last times we talked we both had that problem. Good for you for running up the hills. I like running up much better than running down. We walked the trail today as we brought our cameras and got some great shots. Watch those roots and rocks! Sounds like a great day!


  3. Also a bad fall made for a great Blog.:)


  4. As much as I would love to run trails, I know I would fall repeatedly. I’m that clumsy. I love to hike and/or just walk through the woods though 🙂 My dad taught me that when I was just a kid 🙂


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